If you miss me

If all 5 of you who read my blog are finding themselves missing the wit, vivacity, and strangeness that is often found here semi-daily, then I indeed bring good tidings.

While I am still taking a break from this particular blog, I would like to point you towards two other blogs that I author.

Everyday Eating Disorder is a blog about my struggles (past and sometimes present) with disordered eating and body image..

The Purple Martin is a blog that focuses a bit on my crafting.

While, neither of these will replace A Day's Grace as my main blog, they might help tide you over until I come out of my temporary retirement.

Much Love,


Okay. Taking a break.

I feel like I need to take a break from the blogging world. What most people seem to not understand is that this is not a place where I speak with authority or even the idea that other people will be reading what I write.

This is my space. I usually work out ideas, vent, and try to come to grips with what's going on by writing about it.

Apparently, yesterday, I did a poor job in expressing my disappointment in many Christians' choice to judge others around them - using others' political beliefs as the sole basis for their judgment. I obviously did not make a clear argument and unfortunately, that led some to question the Jesus I follow...rather they called into question the validity of my walk with Christ and alluded to the fact that I may indeed be making up my own idea of Jesus using the moral standards of the world around me.

I am hurt by this. As most people who read this blog live daily life with me and know me well enough to recognize a hurried and frustrated post when they see one.

I am not a baby killer. I just know that if I concede to giving the government an ounce of control over my body that one day, when we (Christians) are the enemies of the State due to our beliefs, they can (and most likely will) take that control further and deeper. This is the same logic I use to disagree with the suspension of habeas corpus for suspected terrorists - one day Christians could indeed be labeled "suspected terrorists".

I do not have children and it will indeed be difficult to conceive for my husband and me. Believe me, one day you may pass me at the abortion clinic handing out "I want your baby" ads to all the women walking in. I don't believe any baby should be aborted. My husband is the result of a woman (who I thank God for daily) who decided to put him up for adoption rather than abort him. No baby should perish because they are seen as inconvenient. I also hold to the truth that while many women will never suffer a social punishment for the crime they commit for having an abortion, they will and do suffer a far more severe daily punishment and these heavenly/spiritual consequences are sufficient.

Lastly, I want to clarify that my understanding of God and that Bible is one that holds them to be both infallible and unchanging. In my post yesterday, I never once said that the scriptures or Jesus or God or the Holy Spirit has changed. I don't believe at all in a Bible that agrees with the moral standards of today's world. I am in this world and not of it. When I stated that we had to try to apply the scriptures to the current age, I was in essence stating what man has been doing since the coming of Jesus - through constant study and prayer discerning how to walk out the commandments of our Lord in this life. Not once did I state that my God was changing.

My deepest apologies to all my readers and friends who enjoy this blog, but if it serves as a place where people can make hurtful accusations concerning the deepest and most sacred part of me, I humbly leave my pen at my desk and walk away.


Politics...Did Obama win because people didn't pray hard enough?

Okay, first of all let me say that I am an Obama supporter. I like where he stands on many of the issues and I believe that a lot of his stances fall in line with my beliefs as a Christian. This statement is obviously funny, or at the least interesting, because it's what most Christians have been saying about John McCain. But that really isn't what this is about.

I'm tired of ill informed Christians making assumptions about others' by way of their political choices, etc...based on their own theologically flawed views. I'm sick of Christians (and I'll open that up to all people) posting arguments or assumptions that can simply not be back up by either scripture or history or TRUTH.

Did Obama win last night because Christians didn't pray with enough fervor? NO! Obama won because, amazingly enough, God has a plan for his life and he was meant to play a role in our nation's history. Is he evil? No. Is he wicked? We all are. So, please folks, get off your high horse of judgment and stop posting dooms day type scripture that does more harm than good. I'm all about some scripture, but the intent of most of the scripture I've seen posted as of late has been to make digs and allude to negative or wicked character. God doesn't like His words being misused - so I would encourage one to study their own heart before using God's word to name call (or are you saying this is a prophesy?).

We do need to pray now that we have a new president elect - and we would have needed to pray just as much if McCain had won.

P.S. Please study things like Roe v. Wade before you make loud declarations that just because someone agrees with it that they are a baby killer. I agree with Roe v. Wade and hope it is upheld. I also believe in a baby's right to life. What does that make me? A Christian, but one who has attempted to consider all of the implications of upholding and overturning Roe v. Wade in order to make a decision.

I'm so disappointed in my brothers and sisters who have bought into the lie that they don't have to actually think or study the Word nor look at the issues that plague our world and apply the sacred texts to them. Just believe what your seminary-educated, denominational pastor (who by the way, has an agenda) preaches, right? It's not like a man in the church could ever lead you astray.


I'm feeling the itch

Hubby and I are proceeding with the plan that we will not be in the same place this time next year...and now the itch comes.

It happens most of the time an Army brat gets wind of a move: Disconnect, Disassociate, Disown, and Disengage...pretty much the same action over and over and over.

There are a few things that are making it pretty easy to slip into this pattern right now.

1) A back injury tends to take a lot of time...so, you understandably don't have time for other things. This make isolation easy to achieve.

2) A work environment where you're not really respected leads to the majority of your day being spent in a place you would rather leave...so...that's a pretty easy slip, as well.

These are just things I am feeling today...So, I'm griping. I'll get over it. I know God has a plan...and I am 100% sure that this plan involves a move - I'm glad God is making it easy.


Hillcrest Orchard

Last weekend we ventured up to the northern part of our lovely state to celebrate the apple festival at Hillcrest Orchards with some friends of ours. The drive was really lovely. We had to stop on the way up so that I could stretch my legs and do some exercises for my back, but it was fun.

We arrived at the Orchards and immediately took care of some urgent business.

The food was tasty. We had BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, apple fritters, fried apple pie, and apple doughnuts. I washed it all down with a lovely mug of hot apple cider.

It was off to the races after lunch - the PIG races. We actually watched baby piggies race. They were really cute.

After the pig races we headed to the petting zoo and the pony rides...and then it hit me that these animals (even the baby piggies) looked pretty unhappy, miserable, and mistreated. It definitely cast a huge dark cloud over the event.

We checked out the moonshine museum....at the children's area (???) and to be perfectly honest I couldn't really focus on the moonshine trivia because the smell of human excrement pretty much overpowered everything in the small shack. It was only when I walked out of the small shack and saw a pipe oozing what appeared to be solid waste into the orchard that we decided to not buy any apples.

Now, this all being said...We had a great time with our friends...but, it made me mourn the loss of something wonderful and natural that has been forced into some kind of dirty, cheap, entertainment - just to make a buck.


Changes Are in the Air

Fall is upon us....okay, so technically it just dropped below 85, but that's pretty much fall here. We did have our first bit of frosty morning earlier this week, which means the pot mums my mom bought me a few weeks ago won't survive much longer (sad).

Back to the topic at hand.

Fall (or near fall as we have established) always brings change for me or thoughts of change. In our household these days there is a lot of tension. There have been whispers of change and rumors of new things and the two of us find ourselves at a crossroads and I have the distinct impression that we have been here for longer than we realize. I know that I have been at this same spot prior to even getting married - that whole marriage thing bought me some time; but here I am again on the precipice of the completely unknown and highly intimidating. What's a girl to do - what are a girl and boy to do?

We've been praying about EVERYTHING. I feel like I have been praying about EVERYTHING, eagerly expecting a certified letter in the mail from God explaining his plan for me since the beginning of time until its end. This, I know is not going to happen...I can hear my wise momma saying, "God doesn't give you the ticket until you are ready to board, sweet girl." These are things I know...I know them. I also know that God is faithful. I KNOW he is. That doesn't mean that He gives me what I want when I want it. It does mean that He is watching over me and, contrary to my very human thoughts, He knows exactly where hubby and I will be this time next year. That's comforting.

"I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed he who watches over you will neither slumber nor sleep. "


No more traction (insert maniacal laugh here)

Yesterday, I began what I think is the fourth week of my physical therapy. I was thrilled with my PT when she stated that we would be weening me off of traction.

Enter the inversion table.

So, I spent 3 minutes upside down - very relaxing. I now know what a balloon feels like right before it's going to *POP.* My PT told me that we'll be working up to 5 minutes. Joy and rapture.

She then took me to some kind of pulsing magnet - who knows what - but it was awesome. If it had been a little stronger, it would feel like being tattooed (I think, I've never had a tattoo).

Anyhow, all the stuff seems to be working because I've gone about 2 weeks with a relatively small amount of pain...I think at this moment I'm just holding my breath - as though all of my health is walking on a tight wire...and if I sneeze or cough or exhale, it will all blow up in my face.


A Bit of Happy

New haircut. Thank you Chrissy for making my day and possibly my week. I couldn't have sat in a beautician's chair without fidgeting and trying to get comfortable. I'm so thankful that I had a friend who (A) does awesome hair and could (B) understand why in the world I was moving my feet so much.

Please, God...please

Today I am hurting.
My body aches and fights against me. Simple tasks have become overwhelming.
I'm so efficient and capable and independent and now, I'm nothing.
I limp to my destinations and I whimper in the most simple of moments and I am weak.
I don't know how to admit that "I can't" - I'm scared to death that those I am saying it to will not understand.
I need you.
I need healing.
I need you to come down on all of my life and take it.
I try to carry everything all the time and it's manifested physically into a broken back.
I don't know how to do it anymore.
I don't know how to make it through another day.
Each day becomes more and more unbearable.
I thank you for wanting to teach me.
I thank you for wanting to break me.
I thank you for the few bright moments you give me during the day that give me hope.
Guide my broken body to a place of redemption, refreshment, rest and healing.


Hanging on by a thread

So, this weekend was awesome for morale at our house. My parents came up for a visit and I LOVE when my parents visit. They hang out and we talk and laugh and eat and talk and laugh and eat. It's comforting and comfortable and honestly, one of the best feelings in the world. They are my people...I see me in them and them in me and it's just a deep breath.

I thought this wonderful visit would bode well for the upcoming week...alas I was utterly wrong.

Yesterday was my fourth session of physical therapy. We did the machines, the elliptical, pelvic realignment, and my personal favorite TRACTION. For any of you who have heard this word thrown around haphazardly in medical type dramas, soap operas, and films - let me enlighten you as to what this describes. I am specifically referring to spinal traction.

"Spinal traction is a treatment option that is based on the
application of a longitudinal force to the axis of the spinal
column. In other words, parts of the spinal column are
'pulled' in opposite directions in order to stabilize or change
the position of damaged aspects of the spine."

In my case, they lay me on a table, strap my trunk into what can only be described as a medical, industrial type corset, strap my arms down, put my legs up on a stool, strap the stool to a device which will pull my legs away from my trunk, and press the "on" button. During the next 20 minutes I will be pulled like taffy for a minute or two and then given brief 30 second intervals of respite. I hate this part of physical therapy. I always leave in more pain then when I came in...and it doesn't seem to be working. I told this to my therapist...and we're gonna give it a few more rounds before we completely right it off.

WARNING: incoming small mental breakdown (Screaming in my head: Are you kidding me?! Are you kidding me? Really!? We're going to give it a few more times? I don't see you being strapped down like a crazy person and pulled on like a bone by a rabid dog! Let's completely disregard the fact that I felt great after my first physical therapy session and that I had almost a complete loss of symptoms...when we didn't use traction. But I guess the fact that my body revolts and I can barely walk afterwards, and I'm popping loritab and muscle relaxers like they're candy is just all in my head - this traction thing is REALLY where it's at.)

Well, after my pulling session, I made my way home (slowly) where I spent the remainder of the evening lying on the floor in the only comfortable position I could find grading papers, watching TV, and doing my at home PT - interrupted by brief moments of painful movement when I wanted to be useful...but, was immediately ordered to sit back down as it usually results in me making more work for sweet husband.

Today I sign into my medical savings account - and I've been reimbursed twice and my insurance has still to make the claims to my doctor....A bad back is bad enough...but, having to make sure others do their job correctly is ridiculous.



Okay, so these are some of the shoes that have graced the runway this fall. Fashion forward? Yes. Disturbing? Yes.

I think the image very clearly depicts what high heels actually do to our feet, contort them in unnatural and unhealthy positions - no matter how sexy it can make a leg look.


Move Over Elvis...

So, I'm up and moving. Not quite shaking it like I used to, but I'm getting by. I've had two sessions of physical therapy thus far and both have been very eye opening...for example, did you know that one can actually rotate their pelvic muscle unknowingly? A difficult task indeed one would think, but not for your truly. Move aside Elvis, there's a newer more gifted pelvis in town.

It was brought to my attention that my pelvis had become severely rotated when my physical therapist was checking my alignment and oddly disturbing utterances and noises were escaping here lips. She finally looked down at me sternly and said that my pelvis had somehow shifted....a lot. She assured me that it was probably related to the injury (muscles contracting and holding onto the pelvis too tightly) and that we could do various exercises to remedy the situation. She took me through those exercises and I left some what more "in place."

I went back for my second session today. HOLY COW. My "trainer" noticed that I was still a little rotated and took me through the same exercises and it was only when we heard the loud POP that she made a surprised yelp, looked at me disturbingly astonished and stated that she thought my pelvis was probably back in its rightful place. She then hooked me up to some machines she told me would help and forced me to move my back....she then sat me next to a 60+ year old man on a cross between a recumbent bike and an elliptical machine and told me tol work it for 10 minutes - I totally smoked that guy.

On a serious note:
The physical therapist once again awed at my amazing musculature (I'm like the only patient they have under 60 - seriously) and stated that she was very confident that PT would cure what ails me. It will be hard and I am a bit sore, but I am very encouraged. They did state that if this pelvis of mine doesn't stabilize, then I would have to learn how to pop it back in on my own. (EEEK GADS)


Back Problems

Good Morning All,
Let me first say that while I am still experiencing some pain that will affect my daily activities, I am much improved and can walk, sit, and stand with relative comfort. I was even able to drive myself to the doc's office this morning and that was a blessing!

I met with the doctor and here is what was found:

1) I have a good looking back. The boned and surrounding muscles, curvature of the spine, etc. all look great. He actually said there was a lot of "steak" in my back...meaning the muscle was very toned and lovely...yes, you can now refer to me as "your beloved 'steak-back'."

2) I do have 2 herniated discs in my lower back - he gave me numbers and letters for them, but I prefer to call them "Benedict" and "Arnold." You may refer to them as "Ben & Arny"... not to be confused with "Ben & Jerry."

3) There is indeed a third disc that is not fully mutinous as of yet, but is on the fence...we shall refer to it as "humpty dumpty" - although Humpty Dumpty
was in fact sitting on a wall and not a fence.

4) The doctor has suggested a simple course of action which will involve cortisone injections (as needed), physical therapy (remedial training of a horsewoman), and narcotics. As you all know, it has been my life long dream to use narcotics legally, so I am in this instance quite fulfilled.

5) The doctor does not know what will happen and cannot give me more of a prognosis than "wait and see" - such wisdom I know comes from the rigors of medical training. Surgery might be in my future, but of course that is a last resort and not at all something being seriously considered at this time.

6) I'm optimistic about the situation - of course, I am on drugs at this moment.

I hope you all found this post to be both informative and entertaining. I know it might sound like I am making light of a situation and I am. Let me just once and for all state for all of you naysayers (Big Sis and Hubster) that I do indeed have a moderate pain tolerance and am in no way a wimp. HA!


Life as an invalid is not fun, hopefully not permanent...

A few days ago, I finally went to a back specialist to speak with him about various aches and pains that had been plaguing me since a back injury two years ago. The day of the appointment I could move - at times, things were painful, but nothing overwhelming.

Well, the day after I woke up, got into the shower...and then realized that I couldn't really get out. Hubby (who couldn't not find the following in his contract) had to wake up early and come to the bathroom to dry me off and then help me dress. I thought that maybe this was just a temporary glitch, a stiffness that would surely work itself out by breakfast. I didn't realize that indeed it wouldn't work itself out until I was at the red light leaving our neighborhood in tears. I turned back defeated. 3 ibuprofen and a bed awaited me.

Well, after realizing later on that afternoon that my doctor's office closes early that particular day of the week, I realized I was forced to rest for the weekend until I could consult professionals. My hope was that it would be right as rain by Monday. Monday came and Monday is about to leave - and I am still flat on my back. The ray of sunshine was that I was able to get an MRI today and that the results will be known this Thursday.

I pray for those who live in constant pain.



Watched a special on this artist and I fell in love...check it out.

P.S. This should be even more funny if you have met either my husband or my father. LOL


Boston & Bar Harbor

The last two weekends we have had back to back trips. Last weekend we headed down to Bean Town to tour around for the day.

We started off with brunch at the legendary Paramount Diner. Man, do they know how to run efficiently. The line never got below 50 folks while we were there AND no one was ever wanting for a seat (this is pretty amazing as the diner is TINY). They actually posted their seating policy which I thought was brilliant...yay Paramount. Matt had the banana pancakes with a side of sausage. I had the tomato, basil, fresh mozarella omelette with a side of fresh fruit...best fruit I have every put in my mouth.

We then walked through Boston Common and visited the Frog Pond. This cement pond is about a foot deep...but kids were everywhere playing and taking in the sun - so cute.

We then made our way around the Freedom Trail. We visited various historic sites including the Paul Revere House, Several Churches, The Custom house (where the Boston Massacre took place) and we took in a few cultural sights as well. We were lucky enough to see two gypsy musicians putting any other guitar player alive to shame, as well as a break dance crew that made me miss my more flexible days.We took in the bay and a beer at the Bell In Hand in the Market district. Our feet were exhausted from walking all day - so we headed home in the early evening. A great and memorable day trip.

We left for Bar Harbor Friday night in our "new to us" VW Westfalia. The drive was beautiful - as all Maine drives are. We pulled in pretty late in the evening and took care of camp site needs...namely setting up our tent and getting a fire going. We enjoyed a dinner of brawts and s'mores and fell asleep to the sound of rain on our tent.

We woke up at 5:10AM, just 10 minutes late of seeing the sunrise. Shux. We had a yummy breakfast in downtown Bar Harbor and then spent the rest of the day trying to enjoy the ocean views of Acadia Park despite the ever present and dense fog.

We drove back and were never so happy to be "home" - which really means to be in a bed. I think were getting old (or at least our backs are).


It's Easier to be Green in Maine

I did all of my errands on foot yesterday. How awesome is that! I loved being able to get a workout, a little time outdoors, and errands completed all at the same time.


Pictures of Our New Home

Notice that in my previous post I didn't use the word "house" and that's because "home" is a much better description of our new 1973 Volkswagon Westfalia (camper bus). Gotcha! I didn't want to be the girl who cried "home," but I just couldn't help a well timed/humored prank post.

This is Hubby's birthday present to himself and we're both really excited. We've wanted a VW camper for the longest time. It's definitely got some work ahead of it, but nothing we can't handle. Our first trip with our new "home" is going to be to Acadia National Park this weekend.

We are happy to announce that we won't be moving to Maine (as implied by the previous prank post), but returning to our real, Southern home in a week! I'm glad you can all take a joke.


Official Announcement: We Bought A Home in Maine

I hope all of you will join in our excitement. We were driving around on Sunday and we came upon our dream home...and it was for sale. Well, we couldn't help but get out of the car and take a look around, "kick the tires" so to speak. The owners were lovely and told us tons of stories about the memories their family made here - we couldn't resist. We prayed about it and truly felt it was something we should do. We will be sure to post pictures tomorrow!

The Advantage of Having Cable

My husband and I don't normally have cable television at our home - we've never really felt deprived before and like having a way of keeping the world out of our little refuge. But I have to tell you, our vacation has allowed me to see a whole different side of the cable television coin - and that, my friends, would be the Food Network. I love it. It has to be the most useful channel on the planet.

I have always been afraid of cooking (not baking). The hubster is an awesome cook - you know, the kind that doesn't need a recipe and can just "feel" the food. Me, not so much - I can bake with the best - but my cooking lacks that artistic flair. I would even say that for the longest time I avoided cooking for my husband out of sheer intimidation. Not so with my Food Network. It has completely inspired me to go after some dishes that I probably just wouldn't have tried to make.

I've taken to making a menu, shopping, prepping ahead of time, and really showing my husband some love through the food I prepare. Everyone needs a well cooked meal, right. I actually think I might keep this up when school starts back and life gets hectic!

Here's a sampling of what we had this past week:
1) Rustic Chicken with roasted tomatoes, shallots, and white beans
2) Chicken Penne Primavera
3) Beef Enchiladas with Yellow Rice
4) (Lots of yummy leftovers)
5) DaVinci's BBQ Chicken Pizza - it's a local place and its AMAZING!


Suing over foreclosure?

This morning, I was watching CNN and they aired a story about a woman who was suing her broker over her impending foreclosure. I was curious, so I continued to watch and I was shocked at what followed. Keep in mind that this women went into buying the $560,00 home knowing that she couldn't afford it. She also hasn't made a mortgage payment in over a year. AND SHE'S SUING HER BROKER!? She claims that he told her that the mortgage folks would "work with what she had." She claims she was duped.

I'm gonna vent a bit here. I understand that a lot of good, hardworking people are in horrible situations right now due to some shady bank dealings. I also know that a lot of people made unwise decisions, deliberately biting off more than they can chew, and now they are trying to blame it on others. When we were in the house buying process we did the math over and over and over and we knew exactly what we could afford. If someone suggested a house that was above what we knew we could pay, we grew a backbone and stated we weren't interested. I feel bad for a lot of these folks - I do, but put credit were credit it due - on yourself. You listened to others and allowed yourself to be influenced despite what you knew to be true...and now, you are suffering the consequences. I'll pray that your financial situation improves - but, I won't pray that you'll get something for nothing at the cost of others' hard earned money and reputation.



I have a love/hate relationship with chicken. I don't mind eating it at a restaurant; but if I see somebody cook it, I get grossed out. Well tonight I made a neat little Italian inspired dish from Robin Miller on the Food Network. It was Chicken with roasted shallots, tomatoes, and white beans. It was awesome.

You might notice that a lot of my recent posts have been about food - well, food is pretty much the only newsworthy thing around here these days. Cheers!

Last Weekend: Old Orchard Beach

Hubby and I headed to the beach last weekend for some fun in the sun. We drove about an hour to Old Orchard Beach. It's kind of like Coney Island or what I would imagine Coney Island to be.It was so unlike any other beach I've been too.

The Hub Unit and I walked up and down the beach until we came to the pier - which was covered with businesses. We looked through the arcade and the carnival style amusement park. We stopped at "Rocos Pizza" and grabbed some "Fried Dough" and a slice of cheese. It was the best. "Fried Dough" is a lot like a funnel cake - only a little heavier and instead of just powdered sugar, it also sports cinnamon.

After eating our awesome beach meal we sat on the beach for a while. The thing is, it was raining. I mean, it was overcast and gross by all "Beach" standards. We (and the French Canadians) were loving it. It wasn't about the sun. It wasn't about trying to up the girl next to you in the bikini. It was the purest beach experience I have ever had.

We then left the beach and headed (again) to Portland. We stopped in at the Whole Foods and decided that one requirement for the next place we live is that it have one...Whole Foods rocks. We ate a bit of lunch (that's right, the pizza and Fried Dough were breakfast). Matt had a burger and fries. I ate this amazing boil of fisher chowder. AMAZING stuff. We spent the rest of the day window shopping in downtown Portland. We had a blast. Yay for the weekend.


A Glimpse of Home - kind of

Matt and I were not in the mood to cook tonight...okay, he was in the mood to cook, but I didn't want to do anymore dishes. So we turned to our best friend, the LA yellow pages, and found a new place to dine for the evening. To our shock and awe we came across "Little Dan's BBQ and Grill." Yay BBQ! I surely cannot impress upon you enough how much my dear, sweet husband LOVES the BBQ. Needless to say, Mr. W was in hog heaven (no pun intended).

We drove across the river to our little piece of home...that would be the BBQ place...ready to try out some Northern barbecue. This, of course, seems like the most extreme form of an oxymoron in existence.

If you take a close look at Little Dan's Menu, you will see pulled chicken and smoked sausage - these are two items which I have NEVER seen elsewhere and I have lived in two distinctive BBQ regions. What I will term "Southern BBQ" usually involves pork or whole chicken (not pulled - pulled chicken is really only appropriate for chicken salad in this part of the country). "Texas BBQ" involves beef (in any of it's forms) or chicken (whole piece, not pulled).

Hubster went for the beef brisket/pulled pork combo with beans and fries. I decided to be very adventurous ordering a pulled chicken sandwich with pickled beets and coleslaw. We decided to give both the hot and mild sauces a go and ordered both.

The food looked delicious. Now, we went at each other's plates first. The Hub Unit did a great job of ordering. Pork and Beef were well smoked and dee-lish. Fries were light and crispy. Beans...let's just say they do 'em better in the South. Pulled chicken was one of hubby's faves (I thought it smelled like dog breath and refused to eat it). My coleslaw was amazing; can you really mess it up? (The answer is "yes, you can mess coleslaw up" and therein lies the tragedy). The pickled beets were indeed pickled beets and probably came from a can. All in all - a decent food foundation.

The SAUCES. Oh dear. My mother taught me if I didn't have anything nice to say, not to say anything..........LIQUID SMOKE! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HERESY! Food was much better sans sauce. However, they did have a sweet mustard sauce which reminded me very much of a traditional SC BBQ sauce.

Pretty good meal, although we were so hurt by the use of chemical in BBQ sauce that we forewent a very intriguing dessert offering - fried Oreos. (!?!) Maybe we'll make our way back there before we leave and hit that stuff up!


Sleepy Days and Sleepless Nights

Fun Fact #1:
The state that we are calling home for the summer is the first place in the United States to see the sunrise...and it is messing with me

Fun Fact #2:
The state we are calling home for the summer is also home to lots of different kinds of wildlife, such as foxes, skunks, red squirrels, chickadees, seagulls and even moose...we have a groundhog in our back yard (for real).

Fun Fact #3:
Forests cover nearly 90 percent of our summer state...I've taken up talking to pine trees instead of people.

Fun Fact #4:
Millions of tourists visit this state each summer...I have never heard so much French in my life.

Fun Fact #5:
This state is famous for its lobsters. In fact, 90 percent of the nation's catch is hauled in off of its coast...and I haven't eaten lobster yet.


Verizon Wireless Hires Incompetent People - and it's a well known fact

As a previous post explained, Husband and I have had to put up with faulty phones, bad coverage, and useless customer service for the past 2 years - as we were naive and signed a 2 year contract with Verizon Wireless.

Last week, husband and I canceled our service with Verizon and ported our numbers over to AT&T. We were told by a sales rep that our contract was up in early June...so, we held out for a few months so that we could get the phones we wanted.

We should have known better - as a law student and a teacher - GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING.

Ends up that Verizon can hit us with a $350 termination fee...why? Because they claim (in direct conflict with all previous statements made by Verizon representatives) that our contract doesn't end until August (not June). We tried to talk logically to the customer service folks for half of the day to no avail. In fact, I am so sick and tired of dealing with people who are either legally brain dead OR completely morally depraved, that we are actually porting our numbers back to Verizon, changing our AT&T numbers (so that we can use our functioning phones), and just letting the Verizon contract ride out until August (sans usable phones) for $70 instead of the $350.

I hate Verizon. I'm pretty much convinced that our contract did end in June and that they auto-renew your contract month by month (after your real contract is over) so that they can completely rob you.


Getting to know me...and you!

So, my sis sent me a questionnaire the other day and I couldn't help but wonder what all my other blogger friends' responses would be. So, here is the questionnaire, my responses, and a list of the folks I have tagged! I'm expecting you all to post your answers either on your own blogs or on my comments section (said in a teacher voice).

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yep, a college friend of my mom, a woman from the Bible & my great, great grandmother.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Last night - in reaction to much needed accountability (or hormones).
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I like my handwriting...although it changes with my mood.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Pimento Cheese - not a meat, just darn tasty!
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? No - thanks for reminding me.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably not...oh....that's a bit telling.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Already have - it was awesome.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch (just like my big sis)
11. Do YOU WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO QUESTION 11? Nope - must have been a typo - don't question the obvious.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? More so than most people know or think.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Braum's Dairy Peppermint
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Clothing, Measurements, Hair...I have issues.
15. RED OR PINK? Red.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I don't miss anyone - I don't think I've lost anyone...maybe, my great grandma.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Yes - otherwise I'll feel completely and utterly rejected (JK).
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Not wearing shoes or pants - barefoot in a sundress (black).
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A morsel of chocolate peanut butter fudge with coffee.
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? blue green (not to be confused with green blue)
23. FAVORITE SMELL? freshly cut grass
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I dunno - I'll watch any of the main sports in a group of folks, but never alone.
27. HAIR COLOR? auburnish brown
28. EYE COLOR? blue green (not to be confused with green blue).
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Contacts and glasses
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Pizza - I love it!
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version)
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? No shirt - dress - black.
35. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Any kind of pie or cobbler.
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I dunno...I'm gonna go with Jenny (She usually comments the most).
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Charles (Burn, Charles - now you have to respond!)
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? When You're Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? no mouse pad - laptop.
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? The Next Food Network Star (or something like that).
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Both have great songs, but am not a huge fan of either.
44. WHAT IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Guatemala (I think)...could be Holland.
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Heck Yes - I do a killer impersonation of "Gonzo" from the muppets.
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? New England...No offense, but I'm not confortable with that much personal info. on the web.

Consider Yourself Tagged:
(This means I read your blog everyday)



Wolfe's Neck Woods

Saturday was an amazing adventure. Hubby and I loaded into the car and drove 20 minutes to a beautiful national park along the coast. We took Carter with us, but unfortunately Brennan had to stay home due to her her back problems (Sad).

We had a wonderful time walking the trails, taking in the bay, and just being. It was nice to get back to one of the things that make us, us. It's been a long time since we have been outdoors - law school and work have taken up so much time and energy. A summer away from all that is an excellent opportunity to focus on getting back to who we are a part from those things.

On the way home we stopped in Freeport. We walked the little streets and took in the sights. We did a little shopping, ate some lunch, and tried to train Carter amid tons of people.

When we finally made it home we were pretty exhausted. Needless to say, Carter went right to bed.


Freedom from a Faulty Phone

At last. As some (most) of you may well know I have been the victim of a completely flawed and faulty phone. Said phone would only hold it's charge and therefore be useful for 2 minutes (at the most) per use. Which means that for the last bit of eternity I have been unable to make a phone call with out prefacing the conversation with, "My phone will die at any minute so it might cut o....." Very convenient indeed.

Well, my friends and family with whom I have not conversed in some time, help...yea, salvation from my state of "incomunicada" has arrived in the form of my new iphone 3G. Please, take note that I am by no means a technology geek. However, from my many experiences in the past, I am an Apple fan; considering the story I will be recounting for you momentarily, I am now an Apple and AT&T fan for life.

We awoke early yesterday morn with the giddiness of children on Christmas Day. We knew the new iphones were coming and bringing with them new and shiny applications for all the geeky and determined girls and boys. We dressed with purpose and drove to the local AT&T store and waiting beneath the luminous neon sign in hopes that we would catch a glimpse of 3G. It was not to be seen, but its little helpers were passing out numbers with care - assuring us that our longed for 3Gs would be there. We received our numbers 16 & 17 and with time to spare headed to the Dunkin' Doughnuts across the street for a nice warm cup of coffee and a doo-tawn (that's doughnut in 3-year-old speak). We returned and noshed on our breakfast as we waited...

At last 8am had arrived and the store opened it's doors for the first 4 grateful and gleeful techies. The air was ripe with anticipation and wonder...and 2 hours later, our ripe anticipation and wonder had turned to impatience and well, impatience. Imagine delaying a child's Christmas morning for 2-3 hours with Christmas tree and stockings in full view, yet a glass door and security guard block the way (small tear).

Oh, the joy when our numbers were called. We walked through the doors into a magical land of orange and blue. Little AT&T elves shuffled about. We were brought our beautiful phones which held a charge and brought the world to our fingertips. And at the moment of activation, devastation. The Grinch had hit and cast a shadow over our 3G day. No in store activation was to be found. Hubby, late for work, left as I remained to tie lose ends and walk the 1.5 miles home.

7 hours laster we both had activated and functioning phones. Yes, Apple had made a lot of decisions that perhaps did not render the activation process "easier," but they did fix their servers and all ended well. As for AT&T, I'm sold for life. The folks in the LA store were sooo helpful and excited about what they were doing and after a few problems with my own phone after it's activation the 1-800-customer service type people called me back every 1-2 hours to see if everything had been resolved. At one point my agent couldn't reach me - when she finally did her first question was "Are you alright" (She knew I was away from home and with no phone service). What an awesome way to represent your company! We have had so many bad experiences with our previous carrier that this one interaction renewed my faith in good people.

(Sorry, I lost the poetic speech in that last paragraph, but I was just too excited)


Seriously People?!

Let me preface this post by clearly stating that I have nothing against trailers nor trailer parks. I have slept in a trailer, I have friends & relatives who at some point in time have made trailers their homes, and I believe if Hub-Unit and I were given the opportunity - we would rock a trailer like it was 1999. That being said, all that follows is clearly said in jest and uses the "trailer" stereotype as comical fodder.

Now, to the post.

So, Hubby and I - as most of you know - are residing in an area of the country that is pretty different than our home state...or so we thought. Apparently, God has played a cruel trick on us (I'm not blaming God, but I am sure he is getting a bit of a giggle) as we are pretty much daily living in the worst parts of our home state, magnified by 10. In short, and as we daily say, This northern state is the trailer park without the trailers. For Realz.

1) Ummmm....everyone here dresses like it's Christmas morning. This means that I've seen more pajama bottoms being worn as "casual wear" than ever before and 10 months out of the year I live in a college town, people!

2) I'm pretty sure the children here neither own shirts, nor bathe daily.

3) I've seen lots of folks missing teeth (not kids, babies, or old people).

4) Everyone rides a motorcycle without a helmet...(pretty stupid).

5) I can't understand what anyone is saying.

6) The mustache (sans beard) is an acceptable fashion statement...

7) As is prominent chest hair and the gold chain.

I promise to post pictures later. Please, realize that Hubby and I are totally not trying to judge - we are, however, in shock. I can't believe how similar it all is to the home we know...and love...and don't love so much.


A Non-Traditional Fourth in 2008

The hubby and I had a pretty non-traditional fourth of July. Our plan was to go to dinner in the nearby city and then attend the July 4th party of one of hubster's 24 hour lay over co-sufferers.

Well, I was craving sushi. We went to the highly talked of Miyake. Usually the place is packed, but being July 4th we had the place all to ourselves. We had a lovely meal.

First, the pork belly appetizers. Melted in our mouths.

Next, the whelk. Looks intimidating, tastes FABULOUS.

6 pieces of sashimi...well, by the time we took the picture there were only 3 left.

6 pieces of nigri.

Dinner was over. We headed to the house of our new acquaintance only to find that the roads leading to her apartment were closed off because of the fireworks display. Afraid that we would get completely lost and never find our way out, we headed back to our little village - only to be surprised by fireworks in out back yard.

Hope your Fourth was as memorable as ours.